RPG Maker XP Tutorial on How to Make a Custom Window Skin

Written by nicole whitney
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RPG Maker XP Tutorial on How to Make a Custom Window Skin
(Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images)

RPG Maker XP, a program that allows you to make role-playing games on your home computer, also allows you to import graphics into the game. This gives your game it's own look and feel while RPG Maker itself does the majority of the programming for you. One way to achieve a new look is to create window skins, which are graphics for the text boxes where the characters' speech and actions are displayed.

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Things you need

  • Image editing software
  • RPG Maker XP

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  1. 1

    Make a new file in your image editing software, 192 pixels high by 128 pixels wide. This image is divided into smaller squares that become each part of your window. To the left is a large square that becomes your background. To the right are several squares that become borders and other graphics. The window frame is at the top right, with the command cursor and pause sign for making selections in the centre, and the arrow cursors used in battle sequences at the bottom.

  2. 2

    Paint the background image. This is the 128x128 pixel square on the left of the graphic. This background will stretch to accommodate the text windows in the game, so it is best to keep it simple, often a solid colour or gradient. Designs that look nice in the box often distort into unattractive shapes on the screen.

  3. 3

    Create the window frame and scroll arrows in the top right square, which is 64 pixels by 64 pixels. Embellishments to the corner of your frame should be contained within the 16 pixels at the corners of this box. The centre of this graphic is for the arrows.

  4. 4

    Design the command cursor and pause sign in the two 32x32 squares below the window frame. The left square is the command cursor, for highlighting a selection. This is coloured differently than the background to make it stand out. The right-hand box is the pause sign that indicates the player's input is needed on the screen. It is split into four boxes of 16x16 pixels, with each of these smaller boxes making up a frame of animation in the cursor.

  5. 5

    Draw the arrow cursors. The arrow cursor is the blinking icon used in battle to indicate targets. The animation frames are the bottom right section below your command cursor and pause graphic. Both frames of the animation are 32 pixels by 32 pixels.

  6. 6

    Save the file and import it into RPG Maker. The three file types .png, .jpg and .bmp are the only file types RPG Maker XP will recognise. Use the "Materialbase" option under "Tools" to import the file into the correct folder.

Tips and warnings

  • Use the original graphic in the RTP file as a template. You can essentially trace this file and eliminate the need for counting pixels.
  • You may not get the result you want on the first try. Open your image program and tweak the file until it looks the way you want. Even changing one pixel can make a big difference.

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